Demob – Round Ear Records – 1980 / 1982

Anti Police

Teenage Adolescence

No Room For You

Think Straight / New Breed

I always thought this band were great and severely underated at the time,  so I am uploading both 7″ singles that were released during the band’s lifetime. All these tracks that are uploaded by this band are great, but ‘No Room For You’ is an absolute classic…For best results play this track loud enough to receive a visit and a court order from your local plod / social services.

Text from Wikkiwackiewoo.

Demob formed in late 1978 by guitarist Terry Elcock and drummer Johnny Melfah, and they were soon joined by Mike Howes (vocals), Tony Wakefield (bass) and Chris Rush (guitar). Howes ex-army skinhead friend Andy Kanonik soon joined, also on vocals. It was this line-up that first rehearsed and played the first gigs in and around Gloucester, the Viking youth club becoming the main place of rehearsals and Tracy’s night club was the first venue that Demob played in 1978, and became the local night club hangout for all the band and punks at that time. Elcock had previous experience on guitar as a member of a church band.

Demob’s first big break came in the summer of 1979 when they fooled the authorities into letting them have a place in the Gloucester annual carnival parade. The ever increasing support for the band resulted in a mass riot between the punks and the bikers and, ultimately, the suspension of the carnival. The riot made national press and attracted the interest of the local record label, Round Ear Records.

In 1980, Howes was sacked from the band, and Kanonik was imprisoned for three months, leaving the band without a singer. The band had just recruited Mark “Miff” Smith to replace Rush, and he took over the role of singer, with Paul “Fatty” Price also replacing Wakefield on bass. Smith soon become an integral part, arranging and organizing gigs. With the line-up now comprising Mark Smith (vocals), Terry Elcock (guitar), Paul Price & Barry Philips (bass guitar), and Johnny Melfah (drums), the band worked on their first recordings. “Anti-Police” was Demob’s first release on the independent Round Ear Records, the record supported by the late John Peel, and journalist Garry Bushell. The record spent over two months in the UK Indie Chart, peaking at number 34.

On the back of the success of “Anti-Police”, Demob supported many acts around the punk circuit at this time, including U2, UK Subs, The Angelic Upstarts, Discharge and The Beat. Most performances ended with a police presence and inevitable violence with their notorious hardcore followers, the Demob Riot Squad. The band’s multi-racial line-up sometimes attracted hostility from Nazi skinheads who attended their gigs, and the band would play several concerts in aid of the Anti-Nazi League.

A second single, “No Room For You” quickly followed to add to the success, but unfortunately, like so many punk acts of the era, musical differences soon developed amongst the line up and Demob split to pursue other musical avenues in 1983.

This post is respectably dedicated to Tinsel, an old time KYPP cohort who’s birthday it is today – Happy Birthday dearest, baby Aaron also sends his hugs to you on your special day.

  1. alistairliv
    September 15, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Happy Birthday Tinsel!

  2. Phil R
    Phil R
    September 15, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Hey Tinsel! Big Birthday HuGZ n’ xxx

  3. tinsel
    September 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    thanks for all the love guys.
    i am 42themeaningoflife today.
    its all good

  4. dan i
    dan i
    September 15, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    hey i was 42 on sept 3rd, happy birthday!

  5. dan i
    dan i
    September 15, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Demob – what a band! Have we seen this piece before Pengy? Not complaining, Demob should be celebrated at any excuse!

  6. Ian
    September 15, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Happy birthday to one and all. I’m 43 on Saturday while were at it. Don’t know anyone on this site but thought I’d just throw that one in. ‘No room for you’, one of my all time fave tunes from my favourite website. Still play this regularly.

  7. Nic
    September 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Demob = DOSS…

    Happy Birthday to everyone having one at the moment…

    I remember reading Tinsel’s name in old KYPP-related gumph…

  8. John No Last Name
    John No Last Name
    September 16, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Happy Birthday Tinsel, and Penguin thanks for posting some Demob. ‘No room for you’ is such a classic track. I’ve been hoping you would post it for a while now but know how you are about requests so good on ya mate.

  9. Palmer
    September 18, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday Tinsel xxx

  10. paul harvey
    paul harvey
    October 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Demob’s “No Room For You” is without doubt the most underrated song from that era and I am glad that some other people recognise its sheer majesty; from the military drumming that open’s it, to the moment when it kicks in and all fury is unleashed – I remember buying it along with Menace’s ‘GLC’ seven inch and playing those two songs endlessly. Though the intervening years are full of songs hardwired by the neurochemistry of MDMA and meta-emotional states, nothing beats the imprint of a song like this and the first awakenings of becoming a teenager…I just had a look at the singer’s myspace page, I hadn’t the heart to tell him that his current folk-agitprop-dirge in no way compares to a track he wrote nearly thirty years ago. Finally ‘Kill Your Pet Puppy’ – good to see the transformation into the digital domain – still the best named zine ever full stop.

    PS: Still looking for a copy of Flux’s Uncarved Block & The twelve inch that was released at the same time but who’s name escapes me…any digital copies to download???

  11. Nic
    July 31, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Yesterday we went to a ‘museum’ (I use the term loosely) in the Forest of Dean which is run by one of the ex-bassists from Demob: absolutely insane…

    (My better half pointed out two rather nice Vespa GS’s that are in the collection, Pengy)

  12. ray ss
    ray ss
    August 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    great post, i am too late, i am having trouble downloading the songs, thanks for the sleeve pics though. i love the song no room for you.

  13. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    August 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    All the Demob downloads are working fine Ray.

  14. ray ss
    ray ss
    August 7, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    yup got em, dont know what my problem was. thanks

  15. John
    December 28, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Mike Howes was not kicked out of Demob. He left to form his own band Act Of Defiance.

  16. Bernardo
    August 20, 2023 at 5:34 am

    There is a lot about Demob only band members past and present know, all will be revealed in a book by one of the members, well his side of the story in due course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *